Crop Rotation Group
Fertile, well-drained soil enriched with compost, with a near neutral pH.
Full sun to partial afternoon shade.
Yes, stachys is a hardy perennial. Well-rooted plants are hardy to -34 °C (-30 °F).
Drench with a liquid organic fertiliser when plants begin to produce new leaves in spring. Feed again in late summer to nourish the dramatic foliage.
Single Plants: 30cm (11") each way (minimum)
Rows: 30cm (11") with 30cm (11") row gap (minimum)
Sow and Plant
Potted plants of improved varieties are widely available in spring. Spring is also the best season to dig and replant divisions taken from the edge of an existing clump. Set out plants as early as possible, while the soil is still cool. Spread the roots with your fingers, and take care not to bury the crown, which can lead to rotting. Water young plants as needed to help them get established, but avoid watering late in the day. Once dampened, the felted leaves can be slow to dry out.
Our Garden Planner can produce a personalized calendar of when to sow, plant and harvest for your area.
Native to the Middle East and evergreen in mild winter climates, stachys is grown for its furry gray-green leaves and spikes of bee-pleasing flowers. Some gardeners prefer one characteristic over another. Also called ‘Big Ears’, the ‘Helen von Stein’ cultivar produces huge leaves with sparse flowers. If you are gardening for pollinators, choose a species selection that will produce plenty of pink to purple flowers on tall spikes in early summer. The flowers are favorites of numerous types of bees and other pollinators.
Position stachys along the edges of beds within easy reach for picking by children. They are not poisonous. Stachys forms a luminous ground cover, and it’s easy to dig plants from the edges to share or transplant to new areas. Lop off the flower spikes when they stop blooming in late summer. In cold winter areas where the plants die back to the ground, allow the dead foliage to shelter the crowns through the winter, and clear it away in spring.
Stachys is resistant to nibbling by rabbits, deer, and most leaf-eating insects. Prolonged wet weather can lead to leaf rot. When a clump shows interior browning, clip out affected plants to improve air circulation.
Planting and Harvesting Calendar
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